Toddler Translation

by Nadine on June 1, 2017

Look who’s talking (and is almost) 2!*


She asked to be buried in pillows. Her wish is my command.

Translating toddler-speak is no easy task, even when it’s your own kid.

Yesterday morning, I heard her talking to herself in her crib: “Cookie tar diamond, cookie tar diamond.”

Me (assuming she was talking about this book): Is the diamond in the cookie jar?

Silence.

Matthew: I think she’s singing “Twinkle, twinkle little star.”

Me: “…like a diamond in the sky?”

Ursula: Yeah.

*****

Last summer, if Ursula cried when we started to leave the market, we would assume she was either tired or overheated or hungry, give her a few words/kisses of encouragement, and go home.

Now, if Ursula cries when we start leaving the market, she tells us why.

This week, as we approached our car after a market picnic, Ursula burst into tears. At first, I thought she had been stung by a wasp — that’s how sudden the tears were.

Though her sobs, I was able to translate the following:

Ursula was crying because she was sad. She didn’t want to go home. She wanted to watch the kids on bikes. And she wanted her own bike. And she wanted Mommy to have a bike. And she wanted Daddy to have a bike. And when she gets her own bike, she wants it to be a yellow bike. Emma has a yellow bike. And Emma dances. And has a bow in her hair.

Makes me wonder if we really didn’t get her last summer. Maybe she wasn’t tired or hungry after all.

*****

I was walking past a condo construction site with Ursula.

Me: Mommy and Daddy almost bought one of those condos. But they were too small.

Ursula (nodding knowingly): Daddy big.

*****

We were running late for Working Ensemble.

Me: Ursula, we’re gonna leave here in 10 minutes. I just need to put on some makeup.

Ursula (pointing to her eyelashes): Eyes.

Me: Yeah, I get it. My eyes need help this morning.

She just smiled. And then she clapped for me when I finished blowdrying my hair. Positive reenforcement results in a more presentable mother.

*****

Note to all the young moms out there: While parenting doesn’t necessarily get easier — with every age and stage comes a new set of challenges and level of exhaustion — talking is such a game-changer. Your little babies will soon tell you why they’re crying. It might be because you won’t let them sleep with a knife (as was the case in our house yesterday). You’ll say no to the knife, the kid will still cry, but at least everyone knows why.

 

*Look Who’s Talking did not need a sequel.

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